Avianca S.A. (acronym in Spanish for Aerovias del Continente Americano S.A., “Airways of the American Continent”) is a Colombian airline. It has been the flag carrier of Colombia since 5 December 1919, when it was initially registered under the name SCADTA. It is headquartered in Bogotá, D.C. with its main hub at El Dorado International Airport.
Avianca is the flagship of a group of eight Latin American airlines, whose operations are combined to function as one airline using a codesharing system. Avianca is the largest airline in Colombia and second largest in Latin America, after LATAM of Chile.
Avianca and its subsidiaries have the most extensive network of destinations in Latin America. Prior to the merger with TACA in 2010, it was wholly owned by Synergy Group S.A., a South American holding company established by Germán Efromovich and specialising in air transport. It is listed on the Colombia Stock Exchange.
Through SCADTA, Avianca is the world’s second oldest extant airline after KLM, and celebrated its 100th anniversary in December 5, 2019. It is the oldest airline in the Western Hemisphere. It became an official member of Star Alliance on 21 June 2012, after a process that lasted approximately 18 months from the initial announcement of its invitation to join the Alliance.
On 10 May 2020, Avianca filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the second time in its history as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; the airline had accumulated a total debt of $4.9 billion at the end of 2019.